How I dropped some pounds

In the past 18 months I’ve lost 54 lbs. Which isn’t the quickest weight loss, ever but it’s still pretty significant. I’ve gone from having a BMI (body mass index) of “obese” to “overweight” to just recently “normal”. It’s not easy to lose weight, but no change is easy.

What triggered my desire to lose weight was that I couldn’t find pants that fit me anymore. Men’s size 44 were seeming too small. I couldn’t find bathing trunks at target that fit around by big butt. I didn’t want to be sized out of normal clothes shopping.

Before

After

Hypnosis

The first thing I did was buy Paul McKenna’s “I can make you thin” book, cd and app. Paul McKenna is a self help hypnotist who is a doctor via diploma mill school. His books and hypnosis tracks helped me a lot when I spiraled into a really deep depression six years ago. “I can make you happy” is the book I used for depression. I did start losing pounds with McKenna’s system. His system is

  • Listen to his hypnosis track once a day
  • When you eat, eat alone, without distraction. Pay attention to the food, focus on it and savor it. Eat slowly. When you first start to feel full, stop eating immediately. Don’t finish what’s on your plate.
  • Exercise 30 minutes a day

Seems simple enough. I found it impossible to eat alone, in silence. I have a job, and I don’t have a room I can lock myself into to eat in a zen meditation type state. Still it got the process started. It gave me the confidence to know I could lose weight and start more conventional approaches.

I don’t think this approach is for everyone, but I would be remiss if I didn’t say I tried it.

Track your weight daily

As I lived my life I’d slowly put on pounds. For a while I was like “I’m 200ish lbs” that number went to 205, 210, until I weighed my self and was 234lbs. I use a program called “Happy Scale”. I weigh myself every morning after going to the bathroom. I punch it into the app and check out my trends. Happy Scale uses something called a “Moving Average” which is their algorithm for removing normal weight fluctuations from your daily weigh in. Sometimes your weight will go up a bit, but if your moving average is going down, you know that weight gain is just temporary. Your body gains and adds weights depending on a lot of things.

Easy habit fixes

I stopped drinking soda, both diet and sugared. I started drinking iced tea, even though it’s totally gross, and now I like it. Diet soda effects your stomach bacteria and can make you feel more hungry. I don’t need that in my life.

I avoid heavily processed foods, and fried foods. I don’t eat french fries anymore, no donuts, other things covered in sugars and deliciousness.

I used to drink a six pack to just get a buzz. When me and my wife started dating we’d go through 2 to 3 bottles of wine on a date. Removing alcohol when I wasn’t going out was pretty easy. My wife has completely quit drinking (πŸ‘). If I go out with some people to a bar, I’ll limit myself to 3 liquor drinks (though I’ll usually have one). I drink whisky/whiskey/scotch typically (if you were wondering).

If you have depression, regular drinking will make it a million times worse. Even if you don’t have a drinking problem per se. Similarly, adding those empty calories is not going to help your diet.

Weed

I tried the Weed diet for a bit. The idea is that smoking pot increases your metabolism. When you get the munchies, eat healthy, and not crap. Specifically you want strains that have THCV and lower your appetite like Green Crack, Pineapple Purps, Master Kush. If you try this technique, get a medical marijuana card, and make sure you’re buying the correct strains.

I did see a big weight loss through this, but it was untenable. I’m a programmer, and I can’t do my job intoxicated (wish I could!). Also, while I do like getting stoned, I don’t want to be all the time, it feels gross (personally).

Calorie Tracking

When my wife started doing this, I was like “That’s overboard, just make sure you eat well!”. I was completely wrong. What did you eat yesterday? If you can’t list everything, you’re doing it wrong. If I eat a chocolate chip cookie with lunch, I won’t remember after dinner when I opt to eat a piece of pie. It has as much to do with tracking my calories as remembering what I ate.

For calorie tracking I use “Lose It!” app, my wife prefers MyFitnessPal. I can scan the barcode of any food I’m going to eat. I can lookup how many calories are in a food if I’m at a chain restaurant. I can find out the totals of home made foods by punching in the ingredients.

If you eat out a lot at restaurants that don’t have calories posted, this is tough. It’s really difficult when you don’t know what’s in your food. The point is here to do your best. If you’re tracking accurately 80% of your food intake, the 20% that’s less accurate isn’t going to be as bad.

This is still a struggle, but it’s been probably the best single help. CICO (Calories in/Calories Out) is probably the best and most accurate way to lose weight.

If you’re starting this, I suggest you don’t have a calorie goal. See how many you eat on average in a week. Let’s say this number is 2500. Then, once you have your baseline. Go to 2450 or 2400. Once you’re comfortable in that, drop it another hundred. Lot’s of websites will tell you how many calories you should aim for to lose no more than 2 lbs a week.

Water

Drink 100oz a day. No excuses. You’ll feel amazing. I track my water consumption on my:

Apple Watch

I bought an apple watch to track my movements. It’s nice because it tells you how many calories you’ve burned, how many steps you’ve taken, how many flights of stairs you’ve traveled, automatically, and it holds the data forever.

The apple watch will also connect to Lose It, so when I burn a few hundred calories working out, I get a few hundred calories added to my calorie allowance for the day.

It also tracks sleep, which is good for promoting weight loss, but I don’t have a set limit on how much sleep I must get or anything, I just let it get tracked on its own and pay no attention to it.

Boot Camp / Exorcise

My work has a lovely fitness boot camp twice a week that I opted into. It’s about 10 people doing different drills for 30 seconds to 45 seconds at a time. Exhausting stuff, like body-builders, push ups, running stairs, Muay Thai boxing. It’s a very open and friendly atmosphere with people of different body shapes and ages. People are expected to push themselves a little bit past their limit, but no one is expected to 100% do the drills perfectly.

Class 1, I was sore, head to toe. Class 2, pretty close to destroyed. Class 3 was way easier, Class 4 I was barely feeling it. The more regularly you exercise the quicker your recovery time will be.

Take a class. Please. It will be the best thing you do. Without someone there encouraging me to try harder, I’d do the laziest groups of self-exorcise possible and call it quits.

Out of the 54 lbs I dropped, 20 of it was in 6 months when I started regularly exercising. It really took my weight loss to the next level, though I’m not sure how long I would have stuck with it, if I hadn’t gotten some healthy eating habits before I started.

Night of the Creeps

Opening Image –

Set-up – Two kids at make out point, an ax murderer is on the loose in the area. A comet crashes to earth. A teen goes to investigate and has a creep fly into his mouth. Meanwhile, an ax killer hacks the teen’s girlfriend to death

Theme Stated (happens during the Set-up) –

Catalyst – Chris thinks he has to be a Beta for Cindy to like him. So he tries to pledge with JC. They’re told they need to get a corpse and dump it on the steps of a fraternity to be initiated

Debate – Should they do something so dumb to make some girl do it? Yes.

Break Into Two (Choosing Act Two) – They release the corpse from his cryogenic sleep. They run off and the zombie is on the loose.

B Story – The corpse let loose, starts spreading the creeps.

The Promise of the Premise – The creeps slowly kill teens, JC, a sororty girl via a cat,

Midpoint – Corpse of the ax murderer digs his way out of the ground, forcing the Detective Cameron to face the his skeletons (literally and figuritively)

Bad Guys Close In – The betas all die in a bus accident and get turned into creep controlled zombies.

All is Lost – JC is dead, he cooked himself to kill the creeps inside of him.

Dark Night of the Soul – Detective Cameron is going to kill himself with the oven. He decides to fight back.

Break Into Three (Choosing Act Three) – They go into the sorority house, to kill the creeps. Lots of creep killing ensues.

Finale – The detective sacrifices himself to kill off the nest of creeps feeding on the brains in the basement.

Final Image – Alien space ship floats over cemetery. Spotlight from alien ship traces over over the graves and hills.

daily

I lost a bit of the weight I’ve picked up since I started working out. I’ve been dipping between 195 and 200lbs for the past several months. Last week I was peaking at 203. This was after adding a bootcamp twice a week. Glad to be back in sand numbers.

When you start to work out people say the weight gain is from muscle or from compensatory eating. I’m guessing mine is the later, though I don’t think I’ve ever done as many push ups as I have yesterday. So maybe soon I’ll be able to flex and “be swole”.

The temperature fluctuations of the end of Winter and birth of string have beaten me into a stupor. I no longer have the ability to be optimistic for a sunny day. I just surrender to the cold winds and grey skies without complaint.

I’m working on the third draft of my screen play “Chubby Chaser”. I realized I kinda don’t like writing. Certain parts I love, but the constantly reading over your own work non-stop is the part I could do without. Arguably that’s the most important part and I’m trying to adjust my attitudes accordingly.

My job allows me to live anywhere and work remotely. This makes the siren calls of the west coast call out louder than ever before. I know I’ll be there soon as if it were fate. It’s just a matter of my wife finding a job in the area she likes. Also, have to figure out how to sell or rent this house. Ugh. As far as any of that goes. I wish I could transport this one brick by brick to a comparable suburb in the North West but I’m sure there’s better and worse houses there already.

The movie “The Substitute” is easily a million times better than “Dangerous Minds”. It’s odd that a lower budget film would be so much better than a star vehicle A-list film… maybe not. The best part of Dangerous Minds was always that Coolio video. For as gonzo action as The Substitute gets at parts, it still delivers actual action. Seeing Raymond CruzΒ in The Substitute reminded me of all the Better Call Saul episodes I’m behind on.

Michigan Democratic Party Spring State Convention 2017

On Saturday February 11, 2017 my wife and I went to our first Democratic Party convention! We showed up at 7:30 AM as suggested by our local DSA. The idea was not to “push the dems left”, but rather to vote Berniecrats into key committees. A lot of people have been arguing whether or not this strategy of “#DemEnter” works. The Democratic party has all the vigor of a baloney sandwich on white bread, but there are millions on the outside that need political power. To get voting rights at the convention you just have to hold your nose long enough to join the democratic party. You must register a month before the convention (this is free (well, it costs the price of the postage stamp)).

On our way to the Progressive Caucus, there were three groups tabling. First off was the DSA 🌹, which is a loose-nit socialist group aiming at socialist values (society should serve people over profits). Their table was seeing the least action, due to bad placement, liberal fears of “socialism”. I chit chatted for them a bit, met David who runs the Detroit Chapter. Since I’ve joined, there’s only been one meeting 😿. There’s two different groups that are from the womb of Bernie Sander’s Our Revolution, and I’m sure there’s overlap between all three, first was Michigan to Believe In which is a Facebook group of Berners looking to organize around progressive policies. The other group Michigan for Revolution seemed like they were much more left leaning, and had their shit together like no one else. They bussed people in, coordinated demonstrations (more on this later), and had brought with them Birdie Sanders (see image above)!

Progressive Caucus

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